DA: Colts Neck suspect shot brother and sister-in-law, repeatedly stabbed children

COLTS NECK, New Jersey -- A New Jersey mansion fire was actually an elaborate cover-up in the vicious, financially-motivated murders of the suspect's brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew, investigators said at a press conference Thursday.

Monmouth County District Attorney Christopher Gramiccioni said 51-year-old Paul Caneiro is charged with four counts of murder in the deaths of 50-year-old Keith Caneiro, his 45-year-old wife Jennifer, and their two children, 11-year-old Jesse and 8-year-old Sophia.

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Graminccioni said Keith Caneiro was fatally shot in front of his Colts Neck home in the early morning hours of November 20, and that Paul Caneiro proceeded to go inside the home, where he stabbed and shot Jennifer before repeatedly stabbing the two children.

The suspect then allegedly set fire to the home at 15 Willow Brook Road in an effort to conceal and disguise his crimes.

Prosecutors believe Paul Caneiro then returned to his Ocean Township home around 5 a.m. with evidence from the Colts Neck crime and allegedly set fire to his Tilton Drive home with wife and daughters inside. This was allegedly done in order to destroy the evidence and create the illusion that the Caneiro family was targeted.

Paul Caneiro was previously charged with arson for the Ocean Township incident last week. His family was not hurt in the fire.

paul caneiro colts neck fire

Paul Caneiro photo from Ocean Township police

The DA said authorities recovered a great deal of evidence that they are now examining.

Investigators believe that the suspect's motive was financial in nature, stemming from a family business. Paul and Keith owned and operated a technology consulting firm in Asbury Park, and prosecutors have launched a financial investigation into that business.

Authorities said they have no reason to believe organized crime is involved.

Paul Caneiro was charged Thursday with four counts of murder, one count of firearm possession, one count of knife possession and one count of aggravated arson.

He faces the possibility of multiple life sentences if convicted of the murder charges.
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